This is the second of Weber's "Honorverse" anthologies; the contributors this time are Linda Evans, Jane Lindskold, Roland Green, and David Weber himself.
The book opens with a tale by Linda Evans called "The Stray". It's another story of the early days of men and treecats, and takes place a few years after Stephanie Harrington became the first treecat adoptee. It's also a tale of murder and corporate greed; indeed, this tale includes the earliest mention I've noticed of genetic slavers Manpower Unlimited. It's not bad, although the "Big Corporations Are Evil" meme has been overused of late.
Next up is "What Price Dreams?" by Weber himself. Roger II is king of Manticore at the this time, and his daughter Princess Adrienne is making a royal visit to Sphinx. King Roger's out of sorts with Sphinx, and with treecats, and especially with the Sphinx Forestry Service; thanks largely to the late Stephanie Harrington, large tracts of what were previously Crown land on Sphinx are being held in perpetuity for the treecats, and hence are unavailable to be given out as rewards to Roger's political allies. The power of the monarchy is under assault, and Roger needs all the friends he can get. The last thing he needs is for his daughter to be adopted by a treecat....
I'm afraid that "What Price Dreams?" was somewhat predictable, but heck, I enjoyed it anyway.
Next is "Queen's Gambit" by Jane Lindskold, which tells of the assassination of King Roger III and his daughter's accession to the throne of Manticore as Queen Elizabeth III. Not a bad story, all around, though it has the misfortune that many of the pertinent details are summarized in one of the main-line Harrington novels. As a result, I knew more-or-less what was going to happen before I read it.
Then comes "The Hard Way Home", again by David Weber, which is a tale of Honor Harrington as a young officer. An avalanche buries a good bit of a ski resort on Gryphon; a contingent of Manticoran Marines are practicing drops nearby and immediately move to aid the rescue efforts. Along the way Harrington has to deal with yet another obnoxious friend of her old nemesis Pavel Young.
Finally, we have "Deck Load Strike" by Roland J. Green, a tale of a unit of Manticoran Marines serving as advisors in a bush-conflict on a minor planet rather far away from Manticore; Haven, naturally, is supporting the other side. I liked this one least of all the stories in the book, though it has the advantage that it involves new characters and settings.
All-in-all, not a bad outing.Posted by Will Duquette at July 23, 2005 10:10 AM